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The Fourth

after Eileen Myles

by HG Gray

It was the fourth of July. My lover, a woman, and I sat together on the boat’s bow, our legs curled under us, hands on each other’s knees. Her brother was driving, his boyfriend, getting us all beers from the cooler. It was dusk. In the distance, smoke curled over the lake. The conversation lulled. After a moment, someone brought up the kid that was killed in Georgia the week before. They found him in dumpster behind a gas station. Blood covering his face. The body unrecognizable. I would guess Matthew said something first, he was political back then. Peter, the boyfriend, said he thought about the mother every night before he went to bed. The rosary that she clutched in her hands during the press conference. How she kept correcting her child’s name, Catherine, she said. Not Colin. Why are you calling her Colin? My lover said she wasn’t sure what to do, that she was afraid it would be me next. Said she didn’t want me pumping gas, going out at night alone. I didn’t say anything. Just watched as the sun dipped behind the horizon, the thick blue of night settling across the water. Fireworks went off in the distance, loud, but we didn’t mind. I pulled on my sweatshirt, my lover’s hand hot on my thigh. Leaned my head back, found the big dipper in the tiny southern sky. All of us, silent, for a while. 

About the Author

HG Gray is a senior studying Creative Writing at Emory University, with a concentration in fiction. They like vintage stores, big windows and their favorite Joni Mitchell album is Court and Spark. HG hopes to write novels and own a dog sometime in the future. 

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